There have been 3 hair stylists in my life who have done such a good job that I’ve walked out of their salons in amazement. One is in LA, one is in North Carolina and one is about a 15 minute walk away on Brady Street here in Milwaukee, WI.
These are people who get it. Let me tell you how. Michael doesn’t ask me what I want done with my hair. He asks me how I like to live and about who I am. Then he cuts my hair so that it looks like the best version of me possible and so that my hair makes my life better.
Yes, that is worth $100.
This may seem like the stupidest rant ever, but here goes. I am not a hair stylist. I cannot see all the way around my head. I have no idea what happens when hair gets cut in a particular way. I am not looking at myself in the mirror all day long. Heck, it’s amazing when I think to look in the mirror once or twice a day. Do not ask me how I want you to cut my hair. You went to school. You tell me how you think my hair should be cut. And then do it.
Own your expertise. Ask the right questions, listen and then demonstrate your prowess. Expect active participation, but do not expect someone to become the expert that you are by mere association. Do not become frustrated with people because they don’t understand to the same level that you do.
Ron is a master at this. Me? It’s not my natural inclination. The easy (read: lazy) route is to give in and do it the way the other person wants. To acquiesce to their comfort zone at the expense of expertise and perspective. There are times when compromise is appropriate and productive. There are times when it’s not. It’s always appropriate to listen to someone and to ask questions.
Ron used to tell Rikki that he always did exactly what she wanted but that sometimes she didn’t know exactly what that was and it was his job to tell her. It was a funny, respectful, trusting relationship. A working relationship that produced great results for a long time. They were perfectly capable of driving each other crazy, but that was part and parcel of the big picture. Both knew what the other had to offer and respected each perspective. They knew when to get out of each others way. Or knew when to step in.
Time to get that haircut. I wonder what he’ll do. I expect I’ll like it.
Susan Scot Fry
Update… Who knew this would get a huge number of facebook comments. I don’t think that everyone read the post itself, though. This is much less about getting a good haircut than it is about owning your expertise.
Otherwise, without some sort of communication, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment with probably an otherwise great stylist.